Tag Archives: opinion

New York: The Definitive Review (7/10)

I just realised I never got around to doing this, so here you go: my ultimate, tell-all and take no prisoners review of the city so GREAT they named it twice. That’s New York, by the way. Not Manchester, where I am currently freezing my nips off. This place shouldn’t have been named once, as far as I’m concerned. Though I do still like Chorlton.

Anyway, that place on the anti-west coast of America. My first issue with it is the size – not just the sprawling, square (tidy) mess that is the city and its layout, but the actual height of everything. Why couldn’t everyone involved in building things in New York just calm down a bit? What’s wrong with making everything a bungalow? At least that way I won’t have to crane my neck up so much I don’t see the street urchins at ground level robbing me of all my pocketly possessions (1x fluff, 2x more fluff). It would also mean less lifts inside these massive buildings that have to propel you at just-about-lightspeed to get you to the 36th floor in a timely fashion. They’re just not good for hangovers, guys. You didn’t design the city – aesthetically, at least – with hangovers in mind. And that’s an oversight.

An undersight, though – yes that’s my new dictionary opposite of an oversight – is the food. Now granted, I lucked out in being ferried around to some reasonably fancy places, but I did get to go to a deli where the insane woman told us stories about Robbie Coltrane and Helen Mirren and my brisket sandwich was big enough to feed double-me. Though I forgot to collect the wrapped up half as I was too busy dying inside. I also had a great burger. I would like to return to New York to sample the food properly, as I think being babysat so much isn’t particularly conductive to a ‘real’ food experience. I have no idea why this has gone half-genuine here, sorry.

Shower? Well mine was fine. Good, even. But a chum had one that was long enough for me to lie down in and had two actual showers in it, so I can’t help but feel a bit let down there, New York. Bed was very comfy and massive though. Big enough to fit 3.42 me on it, at a quick guess, and soft enough to that only 12.5% of each me would remain uncomfortable in some way. This therefore makes me think all beds in New York must be of the same quality. MUST BE.

I didn’t get to see much of the city in all honesty, bar Times Square which was a bit shit. Not exactly my idea of a good place when there’s a 20 metre tall advert for Piers “Cunt” Morgan’s new show on CNN staring at me. Or the tossers who hassle you. Hey I am walking here, etc. I’d like to go back, hopefully the second time without massive illness, with the ability to explore and with other changes I can’t be bothered going into.

It was going to be a different number, but then I got some cheap MS points from Zavvi thanks to a freebie 15% off code which levelled me out, so it’s back to a resounding: 7/10

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Everyone is entitled to (matching) opinions

I read this earlier, and it made me smile. It made me smile because it’s just nice to read sometimes that the role of the critic is supported. Part of my job is reviewing video games – offering a judgement on them – so it rang true, as this is the part of the job under the most scrutiny from seemingly everyone in the world.

All too often it seems that simply having an opinion that runs contrary to that of the general populace (i.e. Metacritic’s average rating) means risking scorn, insults, ridicule and even the ire of those that make or promote the game. I want to know why. I want to know why it is that I cannot have an opinion on something that runs against the grain; that goes against what others seem to think. It is, shockingly enough, my opinion and not that of someone else, or the general public. It is not the same as the average, it is not an opinion solely formed to appease Metacritic and it is not an opinion formed to ingratiate myself with others.

It is a critical evaluation of a product, of a piece of entertainment, arguably of a piece of art. It is not a wall to be splattered with the excess foam coming out of my mouth as I gush nothing but effusive praise in its direction, nor is it merely a porcelain receptacle made to welcome any and all shit I want to throw at it.

But I seem to be in the minority thinking this, meaning I seem to be going against the grain again. I wonder what the Metacritic opinion is on all of this.


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Vancouver: the definitive review (7/10)

I was recently invited along on another trip to foreign lands, thus helping me flesh out another entry to my definitive review series. This time it was the ‘Jewel of Canadialand’, as I heard absolutely no locals calling it: Vancouver.

The city – quite possibly made from pure, distilled joy and topped off with sexy, yet homely, gold-laced platinum, was originally built by settlers from the metropolitan borough of Bury in 1997. After a rocky start, the settlers soon started putting on daft accents and the nation of Canada was created in 1999. Just in time for the millennium.

Anyway, enough history. I was delighted to spend a little over 24 hours in the city. While I didn’t see a great deal of it – except for through the window of a taxi/hotel room/office, I can safely say it’s a lot prettier than it looks from a distance. The locals are extremely friendly, it actually smells clean and they fed me the pulled pork thing I mentioned the other day. All in all it’s one of the nicest places I’ve ever been to, as well as being incredibly quiet for a big city. So yes – well done Canada. Though you don’t seem to know what a pint is, and my remarks to a barmaid that it was 568ml were met with a blank stare of confusion as she weighed up the enormity/enormousness of what I had just told her. Obviously.

There were negative points bar the fact that I didn’t get to stay very long at all. For one, the shower was only Very Good, and not – as in Sweden – Really Bloody Marvelous. Also, it is still full of Canadians. They’re a questionable race. I HAVE MY REASONS.

All in all though, from my admittedly brief foray into the city I think it’s safe to say Vancouver is absolutely fantastic. I’m a newly-converted massive fan of the place and cannot wait to see what they do with the sequel.


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